Asana - Best Practices

This guide is supposed to tell you about the current best practices while using Asana as the INSPIRE tracker.

Golden rules

  • Clean up your assigned Asana tasks or responsible projects at least once a week (for example every Friday morning).
  • Keep your current tasks list short. Unassign tasks you cannot complete in near future.
  • If you have more than 20 tasks assigned to you, you should not assign any more to yourself.

When writing a new task...

  • keep the title short and concise. e.g. "LaTeX CV format problem" instead of "There is a problem with LaTeX CV format when searching for bla bla".
  • add a description of the problem in "notes" in the detailed task pane, add links to corresponding trac or rt tickets
  • add appropriate type tag (#bug, #feature or #chore) Read more about tags below
  • add related projects when applicable
  • add followers to this task (for example, a new task in BibEdit it is good to add Javier as follower)
    • only needed if that person is not already a following member of the project. Javier will be notified of every modification in the Bibedit project

More tips

  • Use subtasks when applicable - when bigger tasks can be broken down into individual tasks. (Subtasks can also have its own subtasks - so you can really go deep). Allows to assign different parts of a task to different people.
  • Use you inbox to stay updated in tasks/projects you follow (just below "My tasks" in the top-left corner)
  • Tip: to link within Asana to other tasks, projects or persons - start typing @ and you get an autosuggested list to choose from.

Using tags

We have defined some standard tags to be used when creating a new task and updating it. Tags are added by clicking on "tags" when looking at the detailed task pane. Just start writing the tag you want to give and it will auto-suggest a tagname for you if it already exists. Tags should always be lower case.

Type tags

When creating a new task it is highly recommended to add an appropriate tag indicating the type of the task:

  • #bug - used when reporting a bug in INSPIRE
  • #feature - used when creating a task to develop a new feature
  • #chore - used to indicate tasks that can be designated a "chore" e.g. moving all DOIs from tag X to tag Y
  • #idea - used for possible future tasks that have not yet been decided on

Status tags

Sometimes a task is in a certain state that is useful to convey quickly. For example, a task is in testing or waiting to be deployed.

  • @review - task is ready for review - re-assign the task it to the reviewer and add comments to indicate location of branch to review.
  • @test - task is ready for testing
  • @deploy - task is ready for deployment on production servers
  • @blocked - task is somehow blocked. State reason as a comment.
  • @wontfix - task will not be implemented/done. Usually after a discussion on the comments.

Other tags

For all other purposes, you can add tags to describe the task and make it easier to filter. For example, for tasks related to certain Invenio modules: bibindex, bibupload

Projects

We define separate Projects to group tasks that are related to a common topic. Our Asana instance already has some projects defined, but as more tasks are added other projects may be added on demand. However, please do not add projects without a good reason - when a certain group of tasks are emerging inside another project and deserves its own. Otherwise it may get messy in the project list. Put tasks that don't fit into any project into Diverse. If many related tasks accumulate there we may decide to create a new project.

Priority heading

To define the priority of a task in a project, we will add Priority headings to each project. (These headings can be created by writing a task as usual but in the title finish it with a comma (:).)

The current priorities defined are:

  • Crucial
  • Major
  • Minor

My Tasks

All tasks assigned to you will appear under My Tasks (top left). Newly assigned tasks will appear on top of the list, and you need to tag them as either Today, Upcoming or Later.

You can create a task for yourself by sending an email to x@mailNOSPAMPLEASE.asana.com from the email address associated to your asana account. The subject of the email will become the title of the task and body will go into the task description.

Depending on your account settings, any new or modified tasks assigned to you or which you are following will show up in your asana inbox (top left underneath My Tasks) or your email inbox.

Keeping in line

Project leaders should feel responsible that the tasks within their projects comply with these guidelines.

We should develop a routine to regularly check the priorities within all projects and within the task lists of all members. Quick action should be taken on "blocked" tasks.

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Topic revision: r6 - 2013-11-11 - JanLavik
 
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